In the centuries since its founding, Heidelberg University has experienced many ups and downs in connection with its scientific reputation, its intellectual charisma, and its attractiveness to professors and students. In the 16th century Heidelberg evolved into a centre of humanism. Martin Luther’s public defense of his Ninety-Five Theses in April 1518 had a lasting effect.
In the QS World University Ranking for 2013 it edged ahead to take 50th place in the world and the top spot in Germany. In the 2013 Shanghai Ranking of World Universities, Heidelberg University ranked second of the four German universities included in the worlds 100 best. The 2013 Times Higher Education Ranking places Heidelberg University third in Germany and includes it in the six German universities in the international top 100.
Heidelberg University defines itself as a research university with a strong focus on research-oriented teaching. Its self-appointed task is to investigate the major issues facing mankind through interdisciplinary cooperation.
With its long tradition as a research university, Ruperto Carola is a prominent academic, scientific and research centre. Firmly rooted in the Rhine-Neckar region, scientists and employees work together to seek concepts and solutions to meet the society’s future challenges. Heidelberg University values an optimal working environment, one that offers the freedom to develop new ideas.
Heidelberg hosts 34 student corporations, which were largely founded in the 19th century. Corporations are to some extent comparable to the fraternities in the US. As traditional symbols (couleur) corporation members wear colored caps and ribbons at ceremonial occasions (Kommers) and some still practice the traditional academic fencing, a kind of duel, in order to "shape their members for the challenges of life". In the 19th and early 20th century, corporations played an important role in Germany's student life. Today, however, corporations include only a relatively small number of students. Their self-declared mission is to keep academic traditions alive and to create friendships for life.
The Enquiry and Reference Services of Heidelberg University Library (Main Library and Neuenheim Branch Library ) offer access to an extensive reference collection of general, biographical and bibliographical reference books. You will find workstations to use the electronic services of Heidelberg University Library (catalogues, databases, e-journals, e-books) and get access to the Worldwide Web.
To students and staff of Heidelberg University we provide WLAN internet access for laptops in the whole area of our Multimedia Centre. A library card is required. Please note: Only students and staff of Heidelberg University have full internet access. All other users of our library only can access the servers of Heidelberg University.
Presently, the “Genetische Poliklinik” employs three physicians specializing in human medical services, three physicians in specialization training, two social workers and four employees in the secretarial/administration section as well as in the out-patient registration.
Heidelberg is not least famous for its student night life.Besides the various parties regularly organized by the student councils of the faculties, the semester opening and closing parties of the university, the dormitory parties, and the soirées of Heidelberg's 34 student fraternities, the city, and the metropolitan area even more, offers night life for any taste and budget. Adjacent to University Square is Heidelberg's major night life district, where one pub is placed next to each other. From Thursday on, it is all night very crowded and full of atmosphere. Moreover, Heidelberg has five major discos. The largest of them is located at the New Campus.
The university offers a broad variety of athletics, such as teams in 16 different court sports from American football to volleyball, courses in 11 different martial arts, 26 courses in physical fitness and body building, 9 courses in health sports from aquapower to yoga, and groups in 12 different dance styles. Moreover equestrian sports, sailing, rowing, skiing in the French alps, track and field, swimming, fencing, cycling, acrobatics, gymnastics, and much more. Most of the sports are free of charge.Heidelbergs competition teams are particularly successful in soccer, volleyball, equestrian sports, judo, karate, track and field, and basketball.
Moreover, the university supports a number of student groups in various fields of interest. Among them are the student parliament AStA, the student councils of the 12 faculties, four drama clubs, the university orchestra Collegium Musicum, four choirs, six student media groups, six groups of international students, nine groups of political parties and NGOs, several departments of European organizations of students in certain disciplines, four clubs dedicated to fostering international relations and cultural exchange, a chess club, a literature club, a debate society, two student management consulting groups, and four religious student groups.
This activity has been certified by the Landesärztekammer Baden-Württemberg and approved for 8, respectively 4 credit points (Fortbildungspunkte).